Blanche Johnson

Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blanche Janelle "JJ" Johnson died Friday, Oct. 24, at her home in Juneau, surrounded by family. She was 81.

She was born Blanche Janelle Swofford on Sept. 3, 1927, to Charlie and Glennie Dell Swofford in Morganton, Ark. In 1944, she married E. M. Johnson, with whom she had her only child.

She moved to Juneau from Arkansas in 1979 to be near her brother, Troy. Shortly after moving, she was briefly married to Alvin "Skeet" Mill. Although divorced, they remained friends until he died. She worked at the Prospector as a waitress for 12 years, then worked at Donna's Restaurant. She also worked as the local representative for Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Union Local 878.

She enjoyed fishing, cooking for everyone who stopped by, shopping, sewing and quilting. Despite the best efforts of her former daughter-in-law, she just never could get the hang of knitting. She did, however, have a knack for slot machines, which she used on her semi-annual trips to Reno.

Raised a farm girl, she enjoyed growing things all of her life and took great pride in her flower garden. She spent the last 25 years of her life with her beloved companion, Richard "Frenchie" Lefebvre. She was a member of the Church of Christ for almost 50 years.

She was preceded in death by both parents; husbands, E.M. Johnson and Alvin "Skeet" Mill; brothers, Troy, Dale and Wendell Swofford; and sisters, Moncy Graddy, Ruby Wood and Willie Dell Hutto.

She is survived by her companion, "Frenchie" Lefebvre, of Juneau; sister, Charlene Deer and husband, Delbert, of Sheridan, Ark.; daughter, Jan Johnson, of Eureka Springs, Ark.; grandson, Jay Hammer, of Bee Branch, Ark., and his children, Jaimee and Jack; grandson, Jimmy Buck and wife, Ginger, of Juneau, and their children, Naomi and David; granddaughter, Desiree' Bell and husband, David, of Hensley, Ark., and their children, Hunter and Katie; Frenchie's children, John "Jackie" Richard Jr., and Laura; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, at the Juneau Church of Christ, 8755 Trinity Drive. A celebration of life will follow from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Juneau Moose Lodge.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to either the Juneau Church of Christ or the St. Vincent DePaul Society.

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